How Do Event Zones Influence Visitor Behaviour and Engagement with Host Destinations? A Longitudinal Study of the Cambridge Half Marathon (2017–2020)


Visitor behaviour; Determinants; Urban sport events; Event zones; Visitor economy; Host destination; Nudging; Cambridge half marathon


This work identifies important influencing factors that affect event visitor behaviour in and beyond event zones, utilising a four-year, mixed-method, longitudinal study (n=6212) of the Cambridge Half Marathon (2017–2020). We counter a commonly held view that visitors naturally spill out into local cultural and business precincts, arguing that event zones represent cities within cities that spatially segregate visitors from the host destination; only 7% of the sample engaged in longer and deeper cultural stays. Quantitative data reveals statistically significant demographic and tripographic factors that increase the likelihood of visitors venturing beyond the event zone, whilst qualitative data reveals the behavioural and organisational factors that encourage or discourage engagement. Managerial tactics and strategies for encouraging visitors to venture beyond event zones, across host destinations, to optimise local economic benefits across the host destination are presented.

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Original Citation

Duignan, M., Zou, S., Park, H., Everett, S., Walsh, L., Page, S., Fyall, A., & Hansen, M. (2023). How do event zones influence visitor behaviour and engagement with host destinations? A longitudinal study of the Cambridge half marathon (2017-2020). Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 30, 100798.

Document Type




Source Title

Journal of Destination Marketing & Management




Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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